planning kayaking/salmon fishing expedition in washington. need advice

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by captainawesome7, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. captainawesome7

    captainawesome7 New Member

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    Location:
    mesa az
    as the title says the first week of september i am going to visit a buddy of mine that moved to Vancouver WA a couple years ago. we are planning a multi day expedition down a river, but need help figuring out which river to go on. we want to catch salmon, we want to avoid any major white water, or portages, and we want to be able to paddle each day and camp at night, for 3 or 4 nights. He doesnt know the water ways in WA yet having only lived there a short while.

    all suggestions and info are welcome on where to go, except ney saying. i posted something similar in another forum a few years back wanting to do the same thing in Oregon, i got literally no useful i formation, just several people chewing me out assuming i didnt know what i was doing and had no business paddling a class 3 river....it was very discouraging, and unhelpful. if you feel tempted to do the same thing, please keep in mind;
    i have several water safety, swimming and paddling and life saving certifications(adult certs, not merit badges) from the BSA as well as life guard and rescue training. i have 20 years expiriece kayaking up to and including class 3 whitewater my buddy does not have the expirience (again, not looking for whitewater, but if we encounter it i can handle up to class 3)

    thanks in advance for any replys.
     
  2. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    why not check out the info on the Washington Water Trails site - it might have some good info on camping locations and water conditions.
    https://www.wwta.org/
     
  3. captainawesome7

    captainawesome7 New Member

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    thank you, i will check that out.
     
  4. Peter-CKM

    Peter-CKM Paddler

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    Lewis and Clark Water Trail is another. This is a water trail on that little river right outside your buddy's door - the Columbia. Below Bonneville Dam, there are no portage nor white water. Lots of places to camp. And a salmon run and recreational fishery.
     
  5. Peter-CKM

    Peter-CKM Paddler

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  6. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Peter's suggestion is a good one. The lower Columbia, particularly below Longview, has scads of sandy beaches suitable for camping, many of them State lands on the OR side, and traditionally used for salmon and steelhead angling. Or, you can mooch or troll from your kayak . Seasons vary, and you can tap into one of the sport fishing forums such as IFish to get specific advice on what lures and techniques work best. Most folks occupy a sheltered camp and work the beaches and waters convenient to that camp for a few days. However, it is an easy thing to shift camp each day, trolling as you paddle to the next site, land and make camp, and fish from there. Naturally, for the morning bite you are in the ideal position to take advantage of it.

    I have been paddling below Longview, focusing on the waters below Skamokawa primarily, where the river opens up, for 20 plus years, out of sea kayaks. When the wind kicks up or a front washes through, a sea kayak or similar is the best paddlecraft, both for speed and for safety.

    With your experience, you should be able to do a multiday trip, using a vehicle shuttle, beginning in Clatskanie at the Beaver Ramp on Hwy 30, sampling island beaches and fishing down the main channel, and taking out some 20 or 30 river miles downstream, perhaps at the John Day Ramp just above Tongue Point. Some islands are off limits to camping as part of the USFWS Refuge, but there are plenty of allowed sites above Miller Sands.

    Or, start up near Kalama, WA or Goble, OR for a longer trip. The Columbia has tidal variation all the way up to Bonneville Dam, but the ebb current dominates all the way, with little flood (upriver) current, so you will have the benefit of a favorable current, most times.

    Google up the Lewis and Clark Water Trail for specifics, and go from there.